Book Proposal Submissions

Book Proposal Submissions: Preparing your proposal

The following guidelines are designed to help you prepare your book proposal under the NAEA-Routledge co-publishing partnership.

Preparing Your Book Proposal

The proposal you submit for consideration under the NAEA-Routledge co-publishing partnership will be the basis on which we judge the book’s suitability for publication. It will be reviewed by specialists in your field. It therefore needs to be organized in such a way that the reviewer is given the correct amount of information on which to judge the quality of your work.

The following guidelines are designed to help you prepare your proposal, and your cooperation in following these recommendations will ease our task of evaluation and aid you in reaching your objectives.

We suggest your proposal be 8–10 pages in length. You should also supply sample material, if possible, a CV for the lead author(s), and brief biographies and affiliations for all contributors.

1. Summary

Please write a brief summary (approx. 150-200 words) that effectively describes your book to potentially interested readers who may not have a background in the discipline. This is a useful tool in evaluating a book proposal because it demonstrates the ease at which you are able to present your ideas to a non-specialist audience.

2. Statement of Aims

Briefly, what is your book about? What are its main themes and objectives? What are you doing differently, or in a more innovative way, or better than existing books? You can expand upon these brief statements later.

3. Table of Contents

Please provide a simple (at-a-glance) table of contents including chapter headings and contributor names where appropriate.

4. Annotated Table of Contents/Chapter Synopses

  • Please list working chapter headings and provide a short paragraph of explanation on what you (or your contributor) intend to cover in each chapter. This may be all the reviewer has to go on, so please provide a good indication of the proposed content, a list of chapter headings alone is not enough.

  • Please include at least three sample chapters or a draft of the manuscript with your proposal package.

5. Length and Schedule

  • What is the estimated length (number of words) of your book at this stage? Does this include references and endnotes? (Note: The reference list for each chapter should be placed at the end of each chapter.)
  • Approximately how many tables, diagrams, or illustrations do you plan to include in the book?
  • Do you plan to include any material from published, copyrighted sources for which permission to reprint will be needed (e.g., text that exceeds “fair use” limits, graphic images, tables and figures, poetry or song lyrics)? About how much of this sort of material do you expect to use?
  • Will the book include material that is not published/copyrighted but for which releases will be required (e.g., interview data, transcripts, case studies, and the like, in which research participants are quoted verbatim and/or identified; artwork or poetry that is not created by the author(s)/editor(s), etc)?

6. Definition of the Market

  • To which subject areas do you think this proposal/manuscript would principally appeal? At whom is your book primarily aimed? Who will buy it? Who will read it? Are there any secondary audiences who might be interested in this book?

  • Is it aimed at a professional, undergraduate, or postgraduate student audience? Does the book assume a fair amount of prior (specialist) knowledge, or does it introduce the topic?

  • Please list a few courses where this book might be used or adopted (if applicable).

  • Is the subject area of the proposal widely taught or researched? Is it a new or trending area?

  • Would this subject have international appeal? If so, where, and why?

  • What keywords would you use to describe your book? Please list 5–10 keywords, terms, or buzzwords that are associated with the subject of your book.

7. Competition

It is important that you are aware of your book’s place in the existing literature and are familiar with competition to your proposed book. Please include a list of books that are either directly in competition with your book or could be related in some way to your own proposed volume. Please list the following details: author, publication date, title, publisher, and price, along with a brief explanation of the ways your proposed book will improve upon or be different to the competing/related title.

8. Related Titles

Which, if any, books are related and/or competitive? How is your book similar to and different from each of these books?

9. Your Qualifications

Why are you the right author(s)/editor(s) for this project?

10. Product Category

  • a) Do you anticipate your book being required, recommended, or supplementary reading in any academic courses? If so, at what level?
  • Is it a relatively specialist/high-level scholarly volume?
  • Are there any stipulations by your funding body or institution that require any of this material to be published Open Access?

11. Marketing Leads

In academic publishing, it can be vital to begin publicizing and marketing a book at an early stage—we would appreciate your input to the following questions which may prove helpful in evaluating the commercial viability of your proposed book:

a) Key selling points:

  • Please list at least three brief selling points that would make your book appealing to its intended audience.

b) Societies and organizations:

  • Do you belong to any societies, associations or organizations that could be used for promotional purposes? Please provide a list.
  • Would any of these societies or organizations be interested in purchasing a bulk number of copies of the book at a discount?
  • Is the work reported in the book the outcome of any funded project? Can you suggest any institutional support for discounted bulk purchases of the book or for assisting in marketing the book?

c) Journals:

  • One key promotional tactic is to send review copies to relevant journals. Please list in order of importance the top five journals whose readership you think would find your book most interesting.

d) Conferences:

  • Routledge is represented at many academic conferences. Please give details of conferences or professional meetings where it might be useful to advertise your book.

12. Reviewers

We will select appropriate reviewers of our own choice, but we will also consider inviting reviews from individuals whose opinion you feel will be particularly valuable. Please feel free to make suggestions. If the book has several distinct markets, try to recommend at least one reviewer for each.

We aim to reflect cultural diversity and an even gender balance in our reviewers and commission reviews that truly represent the communities we reach—please consider this when making reviewer suggestions.